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Podcast: Tools

Episode 92: Addiction, Dependency, and Withdrawal with Dr. Chelsea Liebowitz

In today’s episode, Tami is excited to be joined by Doctor of Pharmacy Chelsea Liebowitz, who’s here to clear up all these questions and more. As a pain patient herself, Chelsea spent years seeking answers for her chronic pain, and she knows your pharmacist’s vital role as part of your healthcare team.

In their conversation, Chelsea and Tami talk about what it was like growing up with chronic pain and the medical gaslighting Chelsea experienced, how frustration with a lack of answers led Chelsea on a journey to figure it out herself, the discovery that copper toxicity was behind a lot of her symptoms, it requires determination and grit for people with chronic illnesses to get answers, Chelsea’s training in pharmacy, how pharmacists help patients, why you should build a relationship with a small independent pharmacy, the difference between addiction and physical dependence, most medication is not curative – it helps you manage your symptoms, viewing medicine as a tool to help you accomplish what you want, Chelsea’s tips for tapering off of your medications, how to know when it’s time to taper off your medicines, how coaches can help you to heal medical trauma, removing the stigma of withdrawal, distinguishing between temporary withdrawal symptoms and still needing your medication, empowering yourself around potential side effects, Chelsea’s experience with medical PTSD, things doctors say and what they really mean, and more.

Note: This episode is not meant to be medical advice. Every person and every situation is unique. The information you learn in this episode should be shared and discussed with your own healthcare providers.

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Episode 91: Conditions Related to Fibromyalgia

Many of the symptoms people blame on fibromyalgia are actually due to coexisting conditions.

Too many people go too long with the wrong diagnosis, taking inappropriate medications, and following unnecessary protocols because their provider didn’t identify the correct cause.

This topic came up a lot in the last cohort of Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® training. As we went through the program, the students had many lightbulb moments and realized much more was happening than just fibromyalgia.

By getting to know fibromyalgia deeply, it becomes a lot easier to spot when those symptoms are from something else.

After living with fibromyalgia since 2007 and being a coach for over ten years, Tami often picks up clues in client conversations that indicate something else is going on. Today, she’s sharing a brief overview of some of the most common conditions that tend to get overlooked after someone has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

In this episode, Tami talks about how she spots the clues that something else is at play, the problem with the lack of training about fibromyalgia in medical school, symptoms of other conditions often get blamed on fibromyalgia, why it’s critical to identify and address the root cause of your symptoms correctly, clues she typically sees that suggest Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS), respiratory issues, Sjogren’s syndrome, sleep apnea, thyroid conditions, lupus, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, and other common conditions we see alongside fibromyalgia, why testing TSH alone isn’t enough to assess your thyroid function, what you need to know about chronic fatigue syndrome/ME and fibromyalgia, viruses and bacterial infections that have similar symptoms to fibromyalgia, and more.

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Episode 87: What If It Isn’t Fibromyalgia?

Don’t blame everything on your fibromyalgia.

Your pain, fatigue, sleep issues, and brain fog might not be from your fibromyalgia. We need to dig deeper.

Tami encountered this topic a lot in the last few months of the Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® training program. We’re not saying you don’t have fibromyalgia – what we mean is, sometimes symptoms can be caused by something else in addition to or instead of fibromyalgia.

Why does it matter? Assuming that fibromyalgia is the blanket reason behind every symptom, you might be missing out on opportunities for healing. By finding the true source of your symptoms, you’ll be able to get the right treatment to help you.

In this episode, Tami is talking about the common areas outside of fibromyalgia that might be causing similar symptoms. She shares why you should learn to read your labs, what it might mean if none of the typical medications are helping, common symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), the huge difference a CPAP machine made for her, why Tami believes myalgic encephalomyelitis, also called chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS, is separate from fibromyalgia, the importance of testing for chronic infections, why advocating for yourself is essential, how a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® can help you on your fibro journey, and more.

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Episode 85: Is This Self-Sabotage?

To get better, we have to change.

Maybe you’re trying to make healthier food choices or exercise more. Maybe you’ve realized you need to be firmer with your boundaries in certain relationships. Whichever area of your life it might be, the closer you get to the edge of your comfort zone, the more uncomfortable it’s likely to be.

That’s where self-sabotage or Upper Limiting comes into play. The concept of Upper Limiting was made famous by Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap, which Tami highly recommends. It speaks to the idea that as we reach the limits of our comfort zone, we start to do things to bring ourselves back.

Tami has experienced this and seen it a lot with fibromyalgia clients. In this episode, she’s sharing why we self-sabotage, how to figure out how you might be sabotaging yourself, digging deep into why you want to improve your fibromyalgia, strategies for developing a step-by-step plan that leads you out of your comfort zone, what it might look like when you’re sabotaging your fibro journey, the benefits of having help through this process, the importance of starting with self-reflection, how to find the support you want and need, and more.

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Episode 83: Take Back Your Life Book Update

A lot has changed in the seven years since my first book, Take Back Your Life, was released. I’m excited to announce that I have just expanded, updated, and released a second edition!

From a new chapter on brain fog to massive progress on my fibromyalgia journey, I’m excited to share this updated version with you.

To celebrate the release, I invited my friend, Ramses Rodriguez, to interview me.

In this episode, Ramses and I talk about the exciting changes you’ll find in the new edition of Take Back Your Life, why it was so important for me to include a whole chapter on brain fog, how I break down the science into practical tools for everyday life, the story behind the title of the book, how getting a health coach changed my life, red flags that might mean you need more support than your current doctor can provide, how a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® can support you as part of your health team, and more.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Ramses and that you enjoy the new book. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Episode 82: Today, I Quit

Quitting is a key skill.

Understanding when it’s time to put something down temporarily or permanently is an important skill. Strategically quitting for the day, the weekend, or even for an hour or two might be just the thing you need for your sanity.

Tami quits frequently and considers that to be one of the keys to her success and to keeping her fibromyalgia in remission.

In this episode, Tami shares what’s different for her about this year’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, why she uses strategic quitting and how you can too, the harmful nature of our culture’s all or nothing view of success, some of the exciting events and documentaries coming up in the world of Fibromyalgia advocacy, and more.

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Episode 80: When Will the Pain End? Ask the Coach

“When will the pain end?”

For this entry in my Ask The Coach series, I’m answering this question which was sent in by a listener.

It’s such a loaded question and there are so many details I’d need to know to give a full answer but today I’m going to answer it in a broader way.

The thing about fibromyalgia is that it’s not the type of illness that shows up for a while and runs its course then resolves itself like a cold. It’s also not something that you’ll outgrow or that goes away when you get to a certain age. It just doesn’t work that way.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do – you’re going to have to change your path if you want a different outcome.

For most people, with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, your fibromyalgia can be in remission and you can feel better.

In this episode, I share several resources you can use on your journey of helping the pain to end, the major turning point in my fibromyalgia journey, how you can teach your body not to process everything as pain, why you should reframe your journey as a marathon, not a sprint, how you can educate yourself about fibromyalgia, the importance of becoming a student of your own body, and more.

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Episode 78: Build Your Flare Survival Plan

When you end up in a fibromyalgia flare, do you know what your body needs to get back out?

In this episode, Tami is giving you a little peek behind the curtain by walking you through an assignment she gives her students in her Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor℠ training program. During this assignment, she’ll help you create your Flare Survival Plan. Tami is also sharing a worksheet to help you create your plan, some ideas for what can go in your kit (not all of which are tangible, physical items), and some thought exercises to help you figure out what needs to be part of your plan.

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Episode 65: EFT for Fibromyalgia with Lauren Fonvielle

EFT — the Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping — has long been recognized as a powerful tool for reducing pain, stress, and emotional trauma. A 2020 study showed that a one-hour group EFT session reduced cortisol production by 43%. EFT can also be an effective pain management strategy that can be used alongside other medications and therapies with no side effects.

Since fibromyalgia is a condition known to keep patients stuck in a state of fight-or-flight, it makes sense to explore tools that can help reduce this overactive fight-or-flight stress response.

Listen in as Tami interviews Lauren Fonvielle, EFT Practitioner and coach, and hear how you can add EFT as a powerful tool in your fibromyalgia toolbox. Be sure to listen through to the end of this episode to hear Lauren’s guided “tap-along” session that you can try for yourself!

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Episode 38: Subscription Boxes For Chronic Illness

Subscription boxes are a trend that’s here to stay. They give you a great way to be introduced to new items with little or no risk. But are there any made for those of us with chronic illnesses?

The answer is yes!

Introducing the Chronic Love Box subscription service by Recovery Love Box — a subscription box designed for those living with chronic illness by someone with a chronic illness.

Join Tami as she interviews Liz Lajoie about her journey with chronic Lyme disease, the idea that sparked the Chronic Love Box, and how a simple care package can help you feel more confident and in control of your health.

Be sure to stick around after the interview — Tami does an unboxing of the most recent Chronic Love Box she received so you can see what all the excitement is about!

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